BANGOR, Maine — Despite a media blitz earlier this week, a woman who turned up in Oregon last week lost and confused and who may have ties to Maine remains unidentified, a detective with the Linn County Sheriff’s Department said Friday evening.
Who she is, where she came from and why she took a Greyhound bus to Oregon remain a mystery that authorities in Oregon are hoping to solve.
“It’s still kind of a mystery, unfortunately,” Lincoln County Detective Beth Miller said Friday evening.
Since asking the media to spread the word about the unidentified woman, the sheriff’s department has received dozens of leads — including several from Maine — and are following up on them.
The woman, who says her name is Katie Walker, was found walking the streets of Albany, Ore., on May 15. She had no identification with her.
According to a flier provided by the Linn County Sheriff’s Department, the woman appears to be between 50 and 70 years old, is about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 153 pounds and has blue eyes and shoulder-length white hair.
Though the woman could not provide her date of birth, she did tell personnel from the Linn County Sheriff’s Department that she had traveled there from Maine, Detective Micah Smith said Thursday. Smith said the woman is under observation in a hospital.
On Thursday, Oregon authorities confirmed the woman arrived in Linn County on a Greyhound bus, Smith said. Police were able to determine through surveillance video that the woman arrived in Spokane, Wash., aboard a westbound bus at 11:15 a.m. May 13. She then immediately got on a Greyhound bound for Portland, Ore., arriving there at 6:10 p.m. that day.
A flier put out by the Linn County Sheriff’s Department noted that the woman told them she may be from Fort Kent or may have been there, that she has a history of rheumatic fever and tuberculosis and was treated by a “Dr. Trudeau.” She has a 10-centimeter scar above her clavicle and a linear scar on her left foot.
When she was found, the woman was wearing a purple knee-length rain jacket, a black skirt with floral print and brown shoes. Photographs of her belongings are shown in the flier.
Miller said Friday that witness reports and surveillance footage indicate that the woman carried a black tote bag for part of her journey but that the bag was not with her when she turned up in Albany, Ore.
Smith said Thursday that the flier recently was updated and was being disseminated to all hospitals in Maine.
Fort Kent police said they had been contacted by Oregon authorities but had no active missing person cases. Aroostook and Penobscot County dispatchers had no reports of a missing older woman.
Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said the only recent missing person case involving an adult woman was that of 62-year-old Fay Johnson, who hasn’t been seen since early March, when she was in the process of moving into an apartment.
Smith and Miller said county and state police in Oregon were aware of the Fay Johnson disappearance but that police in Oregon and in Maine, as well as Johnson’s family members, don’t believe there is a match.
Oregon authorities also are working with police in the states of Washington, Idaho and New York as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but so far have come up empty, Miller said Friday. Police also have taken the woman’s fingerprints,
Smith said Thursday that efforts to identify the woman are being hampered somewhat because she has been uncooperative and police have not been able to determine if she has family who might be looking for her.
Anyone with information on the woman’s identity is urged to call the Linn County Sheriff’s Office detective division at 541-967-3950.